Social gathering guidance: Is the party back?

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) —  Social gathering guidelines changed starting May 19 in New York state, bringing back celebrations that have been postponed or pared down the past year.

“The dance floor is open,” Katie O’Malley Maloney, Owner of Katie O Events and the Kenmore Ballroom, said. “So, literally, we can have guests dancing and having a blast like the good old days.”

Before today’s updated guidance, getting your groove on at a wedding reception meant dancing in small designated pods near your table only.

Maloney said this should make future celebrations more relaxed, but the guidance for social gatherings still comes with some limitations.

“Without any social distance guidelines, you would have to show proof that every guest is vaccinated fully,” Maloney said.

Social gathering and venue guidelines aren’t the same as a private business. According to New York state, the indoor social gathering limit will increase from 100 to 250 people, and the outdoor limit stands at 500.

However, venues that host sports competitions, live entertainment, and catered receptions can exceed the capacity limitation if proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is confirmed for all guests over the age of four.

“Things such as the prom have restrictions,” Dr. David Perry, Superintendent for the South Colonie Central School District, said. “It will not be a traditional sit-down dinner as people may have had in the past, but we are going to be able to offer to all of our senior class students to attend.”

Due to the new guidance, the 2021 class of Colonie Central High will now have an in-person prom and graduation at the Times Union Center.

Perry said schools must abide by state venue and social gathering restrictions and additional ones as well.

“Sometimes there’s confusion as a result of that because schools are playing under more restrictive environments than maybe a local business or restaurant,” Perry said.

Additionally, residential social gatherings have changed starting Wednesday.

If an individual throws a party inside their home, they can now invite 50 people instead of 10. If the residential social gathering is outside, the guest list can go from 25 to 500 of your nearest and dearest.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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